The Town Pastors project has now been running for over 6 months now and it has been reported as a great success. There are around 40 pastors volunteering for the organisation.
Usually on Friday nights there are 12 – 16 pastors out on the streets working
in groups in bright orange jackets, looking out for the vulnerable and aiming
to keep Harrogate a safe place to be at night.
The police are pleased with the project, and a similar scheme is being considered in Ripon.
Many of the Harrogate churches have offered great support, providing both funds
and manpower. This is an open community project so people who are not attached
to any church are very welcome to join the team. A catering vehicle arrived
(donated by the Salvation Army) in July, so water, tea, coffee and cake are now
available to anyone who wants them. This is also expected to be a calming
influence in the town. When there are enough volunteers, the pastors aim to be
out on Saturdays as well, in response to many requests from the young people
who feel safer when the orange jackets are around.
The Pastors also plan to be at Birstwith Show and Ripley Show this year providing fun activities for families, with stalls offering nail-decorating, face-painting, hand
massages, games, balloon modelling and a whole lot more.